During the Hungry Ghost Festival, it is common to see candles and joss sticks inserted in the turfed areas lining the concrete sidewalks or footpaths.
It would be a good practice if family members could exercise their initiative the following day in removing the candles and joss sticks themselves. In this way, they would help to lessen the heavy work load of town council cleaners.
While incense drums are provided by town councils for the burning of incense paper, there are still families which choose not to use these bins. They burn incense paper directly on turfed areas and concrete flooring.
Such inconsiderate acts result in large brown patches of dead grass and blackish marks on the concrete flooring. Furthermore, due to the effects of wind, some of these ashes and unburnt incense paper get strewn all over, making the common areas very unkempt.
Town council staff should, during this one-month period, carry out more frequent evening site inspections of public housing estates. Fliers and notices should be prominently displayed at HDB void decks, exhorting households to refrain from inconsiderate acts.
Indeed, we need to strike a delicate balance between upholding traditional values and maintaining the cleanliness of our housing estates.
Teo Kok Seah